Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Recently, outbreaks of Hepatitis C have been linked to the reuse of syringes or unsafe injection practices.
Certain groups of people have a greater risk:
- People who currently inject or have ever injected drugs, including those who injected only once many years ago;
- People who had blood transfusions, blood products or organ donations before July 1992, when sensitive tests for Hepatitis C were introduced for blood screening; and
- People who received clotting factors before 1987.
Knowing your Hepatitis C status is important to getting the right medical treatment. There is a cure for Hepatitis C, but first you must get tested.
Contact your private physician, your county health department or search the Centers for Disease Control’s GetTested site to find free, fast and confidential testing locations near you. If you need substance abuse treatment, contact your local LME/MCO.